Raila Odinga hits out at critics after controversial land remarks

NASA presidential candidate and ODM party leader Raila Odinga. FILE PHOTO
NASA presidential candidate and ODM party leader Raila Odinga. FILE PHOTO

NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has denied allegations that he made inciting remarks during his tour to Kajiado County. This comes after he encouraged the residents of Kajiado County, who are predominantly Maasai, to hold on to the land they have, urging them not to sell, during a rally in the County on Friday last week. His words have elicited mixed reactions from leaders countrywide, with President Uhuru Kenyatta condemning the remarks.

During a press conference at Capitol Hill in Nairobi, Raila Odinga said all he did was encourage the Maasai community to keep their land, and not be forced to sell just because of poverty. He said that because most Kenyans sell their private land because of poverty, he just laid down the opposition coalition’s plan that they will help alleviate poverty so that they don’t sell their pieces of land.

“Many times, former President Daniel Arap Moi encouraged the Maasai to keep hold of their land, the other day when President Kenyatta was giving title deeds in Kiambu, he urged residents not to sell their land. How comes when I tell the¬†Maasai the same thing it becomes an issue?” posed Raila Odinga.

He hit out at leaders who have called for action to be taken against him, “What crime have I done? I can tell other communities the same thing,” he said. He insisted that he has no regrets because there is no mistake he has done. The ODM leader said the issues governing land ownership are in the constitution. He added that the Jubilee government changed laws governing land ownership, “The Jubilee government vested control of even community land from the County Governments to the national governments so that they can grab.” He said that NASA will ensure the Constitution is respected when it comes to land issues in the country.